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Planning for a Safe Family Summer Vacation

Each year, families throughout New Jersey think about exciting trips that the whole family can enjoy, from a weekend in Cape May to vacation out of state or out of the country. No matter where you plan to spend your vacation this summer, you should think about the health and well-being of you and your loved ones.

Nobody wants to think about personal injury risks during a vacation. However, accidents can happen almost anywhere. For example, car accidents can result in serious and even fatal injuries on a summer drive, or a drowning or near-drowning at a hotel pool can lead to debilitating injuries.

At Davis, Saperstein & Salomon, P.C., our New Jersey personal injury attorneys are committed to helping families throughout the state stay safe this summer while they are on vacation. The following are some important safety tips for you and your family as you plan your summer travel.

Driving Safety

Driving safely while on a family vacation can help to prevent serious injuries in car accidents. Safe driving is important even if you will not be on the road for long. Indeed, traffic collisions can occur within a few miles of your home just as easily as they can occur across state lines.

While motor vehicle crashes often occur because of another driver’s negligence — for example, when another driver engages in distracted driving or aggressive driving —you can take steps to avoid injuries on the road this summer.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recommends the following:

  • Get your car serviced before you leave for vacation. You should get your oil changed, check your battery and get your tires rotated.
  • Check for any recalls of your family’s vehicle. You can visit safercar.gov/vin and enter the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) of your vehicle.
  • Pack a roadside kit for your car in case of an emergency or a breakdown.The kit should include a cell phone and charger, first aid kit, flashlight, flares, jumper cables, tire pressure gauge, jack for changing a flat tire, basic repair tools, duct tape, water, paper towels, nonperishable food, windshield washer fluid, maps and emergency blankets.
  • Always wear your seat belt when the vehicle is moving. You should also ensure that your children wear their seat belts, too. Also, require that all children ages 13 and younger ride in the back seat of the car for safety and make sure that your children’s car seats and booster seats are properly installed and in compliance with the New Jersey Child Passenger Restraint Law.
  • Never leave your child unattended in the car. For many reasons, it can be dangerous even if you leave your child in the car for a few minutes.
  • Share the road with motorcyclists. This is especially important in the summertime, when more bikers are out on the highways.
  • Always be mindful of pedestrians and cyclists. Remember that you may encounter a pedestrian even on roads where walking and biking is not common.
  • Never assume that pedestrians and cyclists can see you. You need to recognize that pedestrians can be especially difficult to see when it is dark outside or when there is inclement weather.

Pool and Water Safety

When you are on vacation and reach your destination, it is also a good idea to think about safety issues.When you are on vacation and reach your destination, it is also a good idea to think about safety issues. In particular, pool and water safety on vacation are extremely important if you will be staying near a pool or lake or on the ocean. Many New Jersey residents enjoy beach vacations that involve activities on the shore as well as boating.

The American Red Cross recommends the following when it comes to pool and water safety:

  • Swim in areas with lifeguards whenever possible.
  • Never swim alone, and always use the buddy system.
  • Never allow a child to swim unattended or to be alone near any body of water.
  • Maintain constant supervision of children whenever they are in the pool or near the ocean.
  • Ensure that all family members know how to swim.
  • Avoid any distractions when you are supervising kids around areas of water (such as talking or texting on a cell phone).
  • Keep appropriate equipment nearby — including a cell phone and a first aid kit — in the event there is a drowning incident.
  • Ensure that you and your family members bring sunblock or sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15 and apply it regularly between the times of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
  • Drink a lot of water anytime you are outside — even if you do not feel thirsty — in order to avoid dehydration.

Hotel Safety

Do not ignore hotel safety while on vacation.When you are on vacation and reach your destination, it is also a good idea to think about safety issues. In particular, pool and water safety on vacation are extremely important if you will be staying near a pool or lake or on the ocean. Many New Jersey residents enjoy beach vacations that involve activities on the shore as well as boating.

The American Red Cross recommends the following when it comes to pool and water safety:

  • Swim in areas with lifeguards whenever possible.
  • Never swim alone, and always use the buddy system.
  • Never allow a child to swim unattended or to be alone near any body of water.
  • Maintain constant supervision of children whenever they are in the pool or near the ocean.
  • Ensure that all family members know how to swim.
  • Avoid any distractions when you are supervising kids around areas of water (such as talking or texting on a cell phone).
  • Keep appropriate equipment nearby — including a cell phone and a first aid kit — in the event there is a drowning incident.
  • Ensure that you and your family members bring sunblock or sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15 and apply it regularly between the times of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
  • Drink a lot of water anytime you are outside — even if you do not feel thirsty — in order to avoid dehydration.

In some instances, hotels can be liable for injuries that result from an accident on the hotel property. For instance, if a hotel fails to install proper lighting, and a guest is attacked, or the guest trips and falls because the guest cannot see where he or she is going, then that guest may be eligible to file a premises liability lawsuit.

Get Help from an Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer in New Jersey

If you or someone in your family gets hurt while on vacation this summer, a New Jersey personal injury lawyer can help. Contact Davis, Saperstein & Salomon, P.C., for more information.